Fat Girl Wearing Thin

Life beyond the loss.

   Oct 07

Moving Mountains Update: October 7th

I can hardly believe it’s October.   We’ve been celebrating our Indian Summer this week with temperatures that feel like early summer.  It’s been a nice distraction from the fact that winter is indeed on the way.  Thank goodness we have Autumn as a buffer season, right? 


Well then, enough chit-chat about the weather – let’s get to it!!  I always start out Moving Mountains updates by posting my update first.  I thought long and hard about whether anyone would notice if I just skipped my update altogether and moved straight to everyone else.  But then I thought, Well, that wouldn’t look very good if the host for these challenges intentionally left herself out.  Even if no one else noticed, I would know.  Well then, I’d best get on with it (are you sensing the vibe that September goals may not have gone very well for me?)


My goal for September was to move on to Yoga 1.5 and try Hot Yoga for the first time.  I have done neither of these two things.  I’ve been wanting to move on to the next class but it’s only offered at one time, on one certain day of the week.  Honestly, there’s nothing stopping me from making this class; it’s just that it happens to be on a Sunday morning and that is one of only two quiet moments that my husband and I have together during the week, so I’ve chosen not to go.  Hot Yoga is still on my list of things to do, but I want to wait until the weather gets colder before locking myself in a 105 degree room for an hour. 

This doesn’t mean that I’ve been only going to Beginners Yoga since August, though.  I’ve been attending other all-level classes which I am very excited to be posting about next week.  My goal for October will stay the same.  My instructor said that new classes are added all of the time, so I will get to my next level class, and by this time in November, I can guarantee that Hot Yoga will be a great addition as well.

This is a good lesson to remember: don’t feel embarrassed if you didn’t meet or exceed your posted goal.  These monthly updates are to remind you of where you were a month ago and to reflect on where you are now.  Any improvement is considered progress, even if it was an unexpected one.

Would you like to participate in next month’s Moving Mountains Update Challenge?  It’s easy to do:  just post a comment below with a goal you’d like to begin working on or a goal you’d like to improve on, and then mark your calendar for November 7th, where we will all meet back here and share our updates with each other.  Remember, it does NOT have to be an exercise goal.  It can be ANY goal upon which you’d like to see an improvement.

How Did Our Participants Do Last Month?

Michele continues to have a busy schedule ahead of her, but hopefully that will soon come to an end.  For her September goals, she wrote: 

I have a new plan of action for what I’m eating during the day, which could be helpful. I’ll let you know how that goes. I’m also going to start attending some Zumba classes this month — a little hesitant, but it could be fun.

Michele has been on hiatus from her blog to concentrate on her studies, so I’m not sure how her Zumba classes have been going.  Looking forward to reading an update, Michele!


Jules had a very successful August when she stuck to her food plan and dropped some pounds.  With her momentum going at full swing, here’s what she decided for September:

For September my focus is on exercise – sticking to my plan of cardio six days a week and two strength focused classes a week.

Jules, hope you feel like you’re moving in the right direction – looking forward to your update!


Greg has a LOT going on right now with a new baby on the way, so he switched up his goals a bit for September.  Here’s a recap of what he wrote:

My goal for this month is to get back to the gym on a regular basis. I’m not going to set a specific number of times I have to go, but my aim is to hit the gym 3-4 times a week. We have a lot going on right now, so hopefully I can meet this challenge.

Being a reader of Greg’s blog, I know that he’s made progress in some areas that he didn’t specifically list; looking forward to hearing about how the rest of your month went, Greg.


Sharon lives in the midst of the beautiful Smoky Mountains, and those of you who read her blog know that she’s an avid hiker.  Here were her goals for September:

My September goal is going to move from numbers to exercise. The cooler days are already making me itch to hike and because of our horrid summer temps, I’m neither in the hiking nor biking shape that I want to be entering into prime season. So my goal is to work diligently, deliberately and decisively toward that end so that by October 7 I’m ready. The added benefit is that diligence will pay off at the scale.

Here’s to hoping you had some cooler days to spend hiking on those gorgeous trails, Sharon.  Can’t wait to read about your update.


Teresa had very specific goals for the month of September:

My new goal is to track calories all month. I have NEVER committed to this before and only feel confident to do it now because I’ve already started. It’s sort of like a running start at the month. It’s super important for me this month.

This was an impressive goal, especially for someone whose never committed to counting calories before.  Teresa, hope you stop by and let us know how things went!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

LauraJayne was hugely successful in her August challenge – yay, Laura!  Here’s her goals for September:

My goal for September is much more abstract. I want to achieve a realistic level of fitness (gym + yoga) while still controlling/staying on top of the new work and school opportunities (including my first-ever college teaching position) that have presented myself! Maintaining means so much more for me this month than weight – it means maintaining my positive attitude, managing my stress, achieving what I’ve CHOSEN to take on AND keeping a healthy lifestyle!

Laura, you and I have the same goals as far as maintaining a positive attitude and managing stress. I can’t wait to read about how you juggled everything.  Maybe you can give me some pointers!


Ali has had a comfort zone challenge year, it seems.  She had a period where she tried a bunch of new things (things I never would have even considered, so I greatly admire her fearlessness!)  Here are her thoughts for September’s goals:

My goal for September is to try 4 new classes at my gym! It’s definitely do-able, it’s just a matter of getting up the courage!

Knowing Ali, I’m sure she achieved at least part of this goal.  Looking forward to her update!


Marsial decided to rejoin the MM Challenge last month.  Here’s her goal for September:

My goal this month will be modest — just return to blogging on a regular basis. I find that when I am blogging, I am much more aware of what I’m eating and I work harder at trying to do some exercise each day. Additionally, I not only learn from other bloggers, I’m often entertained by them — it just makes my day more cheerful.

Well, I happen to know how this goal turned out because I read her blog, but I’ll let her tell you if she felt like she succeeded last month. Looking forward to you checking in, Marsial!


Hanlie has stuck with me during these monthly challenges since the beginning.  She is always trying to improve upon herself and last month, her goals were short but to the point:

My goals are to at least exercise a few times per week.

Hanlie, I hope the weather has been cooperating more for you lately, and that you feel you’ve had some successes in this area.  Can’t wait to hear from you!



Connie had some very impressive goals for September.  She sounds like a Wonder Woman, to me!  Here’s what she had to offer-up for the MM Challenge:

My goal in September is to stick with the half marathon training that I’m doing. I’m walking 2 half marathons in October and the training times are getting longer and harder (due to knee problems). On the 17th I have to do 9 miles and on the 24th I have to do 10. The first half is on 10/2 and the second on 10/23.

Connie, I sure hope you circled today on your calendar, because I can’t wait to hear how your 9 and 10 mile walks went, not to mention the first half marathon! 


As always, many thanks to all of my participants.  I hope you see just how much you can accomplish in 30 days.  Post your updates and any new comments below, add a new goal, or just stop by and give some encouragement.  Can’t wait to hear from all of you and have a great weekend!



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  1. Michele T says:

    Goals, achievement, and plans, OH MY!!!

    It’s been an eventful month for me. Since my blog is on hiatus (back at the beginning of the year, I think), I’ll share some news here. I joined Weight Watchers two weeks ago and IMMEDIATELY felt unburdened by food. For the first time, I didn’t have to plan it, plot it, control it, or worry about it. All I have to do is eat healthy foods in reasonable portions, and physics will take care of the rest. What I’m left with when the food problem is removed from the table are the real reasons I overate in the first place. For the first time, it is astoundingly clear that no matter what, weight issues are not about the food. Again, it really and truly is not about the food. It’s about overeating due to stress, procrastination, boredom, or whatever else that motivates it for people.

    So that’s great news! Oh, and I’m ten pounds down too.

    I did attend my first Zumba class yesterday. It was fun, and I’ll definitely go back.

    October Goals
    1. continue on the food path I’m on — there’s been a fundamental shift in my views on this, and it’s nothing short of a miracle
    2. continue getting to the gym three times per week
    3. continue decreasing procrastination

    I like that my goals all involve continuing something I’m already working on.

    Have a great month, and get to that hot yoga class!

    • Ellen says:

      What a fantastic update, Michele! Even in your writing I can tell that you feel ‘free’ and that makes me so happy :) My sincerest congratulations on all of your MAJOR accomplishments this past month, including the 10 pounds down!! All this calm amidst your whirlwind of a life right now is very inspiring.
      Have a fabulous weekend (quelling my jealously) lol

  2. Jill says:

    I have not joined Moving Mountains yet as I tend to fear failure. I did not want to put out there any goals that I didn’t think I would accomplish. Reading your post this morning gave me the strength and courage I needed to join. This is just what I need- so THANK YOU Ellen for inspiring me to step out of my comfort zone and put myself out there.
    I have been struggling with these last 10 pounds of my weight loss journey. I go up a little and then down. Yo-yoing. I am ready to get these last 10 off and move into the scary world of maintenance. My goal for the month of October is to go back to following Weight Watchers and track my points. I am really looking forward to November 7th now to see where I will be.

    • Ellen says:

      Jill, setting goals intimidates me, too. I never join challenges on other blogs because I tend to feel differently about my goals from day to day, it seems. This one however, is SO laid back and so non-judgmental – in FACT, it’s sole purpose was so that participants could look at the bigger picture of making goals. Instead of focusing on the scale (for example) and not seeing any major changes after weighing in day after day after day, by looking at life one month at a time instead, you are BOUND to see improvements in some area of your life; and not necessarily weight related!
      Having said that, I’m giving you permission to do what you can, and if you feel hesitant to give an update on that specific goal, have another one (non weight-related) in the back of your mind that you can share instead. Progress is progress….and thank you for joining this month; SO glad to have you aboard :)

  3. I think we sometimes misunderstand the concept progress. Figuring out that something *didn’t* work is also progress, but we tend to stick the failure label on it and hang our heads.

    Have a great weekend, Ellen!

    • Ellen says:

      Absolutely right, Cammy. Failure is such an ugly word, and we tend to think that if we didn’t do our intended goals to the letter, then we’ve failed. SO not true.

  4. Well, I have been getting to the gym more than I was, but life still seems to get in the way. Only twice a week for the last couple of weeks, but it’s still something. I’m mostly back to the strength levels I was at before August went to hell, workout-wise, I just need to keep at it. I think my goal for this month will be more of the same, plus trying to concentrate more on my portion control. That seems to be creeping up a bit, so I should watch it.
    Glad to see you’re keeping up with the yoga, Ellen. You really seem to enjoy it.

    • Ellen says:

      …and life will do that, Greg. That’s part of the deal of being alive, I guess. lol
      I think the most positive aspect for you right now is that you are still keeping yourself connected to your workouts. Some people (and I include myself in this group) would just say, ‘Well, 2 times a week isn’t enough anyway, so I might as well quit altogether until I can fully commit again.’ Such a wrong attitude, because it just gets you further and further away. You are keeping connected and that is really what matters right now, until this wave of craziness dies down a bit. Thanks for your update – appreciate it :)

  5. Jane says:

    I would love to be part of your “Moving Mountains” project, but I’m not quite there yet physically. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love staying connected to you and other bloggers.

    • Ellen says:

      Hi there, Jane :)
      I was walking my dogs at the park and you suddenly popped into my head! Just wanted to let you know I was thinking about you :)

  6. Val says:

    In most cases, setting goals & joining challenges seems to be counter-productive for me (bringing out my worst rebellious traits), but I am loosely following a Runner’s World training plan for a half even though I won’t participate in the actual event on 12/04.
    Thanks for your recent kind comments – it does help.
    As I watched Buddy-dog straining at the leash last night, I know my Baby Girl wouldn’t want me to be so sad. (She was a great running partner, but Buddy’s learning fast!)

    • Ellen says:

      I am generally against challenges, myself. But, only because my focus seems to shift on a daily basis. I wouldn’t call myself ADD, per se, but what I find challenging today might be different tomorrow, you know? That’s why I try to be more broad, and encourage that from readers, too (in fact, these challenges don’t even have to be about weight)
      Thank you for stopping by, Val. Glad to see that Buddy-dog is working hard at becoming a great running partner – what a sight that would be, watching those little legs fly fast as a hummingbird!

  7. teresa says:

    Well… I did great the first half of the month and I’m really proud of that. I also learned definitively that I stopped tracking exactly when I started going off plan. Going off plan started first and then not tracking. I suspect if I’d forced myself to push through with tracking, I might have gotten back on track sooner. I am starting again today in fact. I’ll post soon with new update and new goal to add to this.
    And Ellen, I have to say that I think the fact that you continued with Yoga is a great success. We can make all kinds of plans, but being in tune with the timing for our bodies and our lives is most important.
    Thank you SO MUCH for adding my little badge to your sidebar. I feel so special.

    • Ellen says:

      Teresa, you are always so encouraging – thank you! I’ve been holding off a bit on posting about yoga, but I’ve got a lot to share about it next week, now that I’ve been doing it for a while.
      I’m glad to see that you are trying something new. Sometimes the path we ‘think’ is the one for us just isn’t a great fit, and that’s OK. What works for one person may not work for another. The important thing is that you’re doing it on your own terms.

  8. […] adding here the paragraph from Ellen’s post in case anyone who hasn’t seen it is interested in this lovely and fun way to try […]

  9. Cindy says:

    Okay, I’m joining in! Goals for October:

    1) Lose five pounds such that my weight starts with a “1” and not a “2.” (“Onderland” has been out of my reach for 10 years, but I’m almost there!)
    2) Complete the first month of C25k training program.

    Ellen, thank you so much for helping to keep me accountable!!


    • Ellen says:

      Oh, Cindy! SO happy to be your official GoalKeeper for the month :) I did the C25K workout and it really does make you feel like a runner. You’ll feel stronger and stronger with each session – promise! I hope you enjoy running and please let me know if you achieve that forever out of reach ‘runners high’…..I’ve still never gotten there! See you next month with your update!

  10. Munchberry says:

    Have you thought about maybe concentrating on finding a yoga instructor that you have a good vibe with and that she really cares about if you are getting something out of the class and doing the poses right etc.?

    I think you discount your own achievements sometimes. Do you know how many people never change anything they do or think? There is no room for such nonsense with you. And have you noticed that with all this wing spreading you discover new loves, a new take on things – and then you let us know about them? Very inspiring. In fact you inspired me to do something completely out of my zone. I will write about it to you first, then pound it out on my blog.


    • Ellen says:

      I haven’t written much about yoga but that’s been deliberate. Now, I’m ready to spill my guts and plan a post for Monday. I’ve had 4 different teachers and there is one whom I like very much. Feel very comfortable with her, and she’s teaching me a lot, actually. (I was brave/stupid enough to try my first handstand yesterday.) Dumb move, but I did get my feet off the ground for more than 10 seconds – woo-hoo! lol
      Hmm. I inspired YOU? It’s usually the other way around, my dear. I expect this email in short order! :) Seriously. Send it.

  11. Marsial2010 says:

    Hi Ellen, I didn’t forget your 7th of the month — just couldn’t quite get to it till today.

    Yes, I think I feel I accomplished my modest goal this month — to resume blogging on a more regular basis. I was right — it does make me more aware of what I’m eating, and by reading everyone else’s blogs, I am also reminded of how important exercise is to me. For the coming month, I’m going to pledge to continue blogging and to resume weighing myself daily. I was doing very well about daily weighing and recording. but in the past six days, I haven’t gotten on the scale. It wasn’t that I was purposely avoiding it — mostly I just got up VERY early each day and planned to weigh a little later — and then forgot about it. Daily weighing keeps me “honest” about my portions.

    • Ellen says:

      I’d say that you were quite successful in achieving your goal. I’ve SO enjoyed having you back :)
      Your goal for next month is duly noted and I look forward to having you back next month with your update! Thanks for participating.

  12. Connie G. says:

    Update on my Goals: I finished training for the first half Marathon by doing the 9 mile and 10 mile training sessions in September. I completed the first half marathon on October 2nd. Since I am having knee issues I walked the entire thing and finished in 3 hours, 12 minutes and 15 seconds (14:40 Minute Mile). For me that’s great because I have VERY short legs!!! I was sore for a couple of days but it was well worth it!

    Yesterday I continued training for the 2nd half marathon which is on the 23rd. I walked 9 miles yesterday and should walk 10 miles next weekend. So, my goal is to finish the training and finish the 2nd half marathon. I know this one will be slower because I’m walking with a friend who has major knee problems but it will still be a lot of fun!!

    I really enjoy reading everyones progress on their goals! I think you’re all awesome! Even if we don’t always do as well as we like we just have to keep plugging away!


    • Ellen says:

      Connie, I couldn’t have said that last part any better, myself. It’s about overall progress, and it’s clear that you have done incredibly well!! Knee problems didn’t keep you from training or finishing on the 2nd and that is SO inspiring! Thank you for participating this month and I can’t wait to see what next month brings for you!

  13. Julie says:

    Hi Ellen, I didn’t meet the goal of strength training last month. Just didn’t do it. That’s all. However, I did lose three pounds ( I have maintained a loss of more than 120lb for around four years and am focussing on getting the last few off that have gone up and down over that time so don’t expect large losses each month – any is good!). I did walk around 6km every work day and completed a 5k fun run in 39mins (walking and jogging). For October my goal is to continue staying with my eating plan which I have tweaked this month. We go on holiday mid-November and I want to stay calm and not be tempted to crash diet off a few extra pounds before then. For me that tends to rebound and lead to overeating later.

    • Ellen says:

      Julie, you brought something to this challenge that I feel is SO important: you found success, even though it wasn’t in the area you originally intended. That is the beauty of these Moving Mountains challenges. To look at the bigger picture and realizing that you ARE making strides – many, in areas you’d otherwise overlook. Congrats on losing three pounds!! That’s fantastic! And thank you for mentioning this 5K that you did (another great success). You’ll welcome a break when November comes, I bet. Thank you for your update this month. Looking forward to reading about next month’s successes :)

  14. LauraJayne says:

    I think I definitely achieved my goal – I did gain weight, but I needed too – and I’m feeling more in control of my eating habits then I have in years! I’m learning to recognize full AND listen! I’d like to keep that up and learn to take a break – I’m so busy that I’m managing stress by ignoring it! I resolve to take ONE WHOLE DAY weekly in the next month where I do nothing “productive!”

    • Ellen says:

      That is simply awesome, Laura. To have lost so much weight and to feel positive about gaining a needed amount back is SO mentally healthy.
      I second that ‘Break-Day’! You certainly deserve it. I know how busy you’ve been so I really, REALLY appreciate you getting over here to give us your update. MUCH appreciated. Hang in there and take care of you, OK?

  15. […] be met with resentment and anger, and the result will be poor or non-existent training sessions.Getting into the gym to work out and build one’s muscles up is a highlight of the week for many of…to think things through while also expending some energy. It would not be going too far to suggest […]

  16. […] adding here the paragraph from Ellen’s post in case anyone who hasn’t seen it is interested in this lovely and fun way to try […]

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